J Korean Crit Care Nurs.  2019 Feb;12(1):22-35. 10.0000/jkccn.2019.12.1.22.

Impact of Environmental Stressors on the Risk for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Quality of Life in Intensive Care Unit Survivors

  • 1Nurse, Chungnam National University Hospital, Korea.
  • 2Professor, College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Korea. sukheeahn@cnu.ac.kr


This study was to determine the levels of environmental stressor, posttraumatic stress disorder, and quality of life in intensive care units (ICU) survivors after intensive care, and to explore the factors affecting posttraumatic stress disorder and quality of life.
With a longitudinal survey design, data were collected from 116 patients who were discharged from the ICU of a university hospital. The environmental stressor, posttraumatic stress disorder, and quality of life were measured immediately following and 1 month after the ICU discharge.
Of all the subjects, 16.4% experienced posttraumatic stress disorder after discharge. Multiple regression analysis revealed that ICU environmental stressors, experience of ICU readmission, using psychotropic drugs and narcotic analgesics, and ICU admission after surgery or cardiac intervention accounted for 22.2% of posttraumatic stress disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder and sedation status when entering ICU accounted for 28.3% of the quality of life 1 month after ICU discharge.
Nursing interventions focused on ICU environmental stressors would not only reduce environmental stress but also contribute to the reduction of posttraumatic stress disorder and later improvement of quality of life.


Stress disorders; Post-traumatic; Environment; Quality of life; Intensive care units
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